HomeFootball NewsArsenal and Juventus Knocked Out Of Champions League

Arsenal and Juventus Knocked Out Of Champions League

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The UEFA Women’s Champions League first qualification round concluded on Saturday with a series of big shocks as both Arsenal and Juventus were knocked out in dramatic penalty shoot-outs.

Semi-finalists last season, the Gunners boast a plethora of star names within their ranks and were expected to go far once again in this year’s competition. However, after beating Linkoping 3-0 this past Wednesday, Jonas Eidevall’s side found themselves two goals down against Paris FC and staring down the barrel of an early exit in 2023-24. New signing Alessia Russo pulled one back before Jen Beattie equalised deep into second-half stoppage time.

Arsenal went behind again in extra time, but Russo struck for a second time to force spot kicks. Paris FC held their nerve though, Nigerian international goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie the hero with two penalty saves as the French side progressed to the next round of qualifying.

Meanwhile, Juventus suffered the same fate following a 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt, the Germans ultimately triumphing 4-5 on penalties in front of a rapturous home crowd. Ironically, Juve are managed by ex-Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro but his team will play no further part in Europe this season, leaving AS Roma as the sole Serie A representatives going forward in the Women’s Champions League.

For Arsenal in particular, to exit at such an early stage is a monumental blow for a club who were European champions back in 2007. It could also have a lasting impact on their future recruitment this summer, with reported target Mary Earps now unlikely to join a club not competing in the Champions League.

The England goalkeeper is entering the final year of her contract at Manchester United and is rumoured to be looking for a move away, with a bid from an unnamed club having been turned down by the Red Devils.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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